Is there any difference between the two sentences below?

  • Ce lo beviamo noi.
  • Lo beviamo noi stessi.

I also would like to know if "ce" (form of "ci" used before another object pronoun) is the indirect object pronoun or the reflexive pronoun in the first sentence.

2 Answers 2


There is a little difference between the two sentences: the first phrase is colloquially used when who talks is glad to drink (we would like to drink it, and so we are glad to drink it – positive sentence), the other phrase is used as a proof of something or to confirm that who talks himself drinks the beverage (Is it good to drink it? Of course, we ourselves drink it).

Examples: (1) - Questo vino è buono, ne diamo un po' a Mario? – No! Ce lo beviamo (tutto) noi!

(2) - Questo vino, è buono? - Sì, lo beviamo noi stessi!

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    Couldn't "beviamo noi stessi" also be used in the first example? After all, it is a confirmation that who is talking will be the only ones to drink. Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 15:25
  • @AlanEvangelista: You might use it, but it would sound distinctly unidiomatic. And it is not a confirmation, but rather a counterproposal, as in “Rather than giving it to Mario, we drink it”.
    – DaG
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 21:05

In this answer I'll consider only the grammatical aspects. For the (important!) difference in meaning, take a look at CB18's answer

Grammatically there is a big difference: the first sentence is at the reflexive voice, while the second is at the active voice. You can see it immediately if you try to conjugate the verb at a compound tense (e.g. the passato prossimo):

Ce lo siamo bevuto noi

Lo abbiamo bevuto noi stessi

As you can see in the first sentence we use the auxiliary verb essere, while in the second the normal auxiliary of the active voice for transitive verbs, avere.

The first sentence is a riflessivo indiretto.

  • You mean riflessivo indiretto or apparente, don't you? You say so in your linked answer. Moreover, the reference to Serianni there should be to XI.21-22 (not IX.21), and I'd also add VII.40. I'd like to stress that this is only formally a reflexive, but in meaning corresponds to a middle voice or diathesis.
    – DaG
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 12:29
  • @DaG Oops... I wrote that down in too much of a hurry. Thank you for the correction! And yes, the name riflessivo for the voice is a bit misleading: it is the Italian version of the Indoeuropean mediopassive (which can have reflexive meaning, but not necessarily), but it seems we're stuck with it.
    – Denis Nardin
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 12:34

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